Black Heroes of Fire: The History of the First African American Fire Company in Chicago - Fire Engine Company 21

Black Heroes of Fire: The History of the First African American Fire Company in Chicago - Fire Engine Company 21

by Dekalb Walcott


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This exposé introduces and describes the background of the members of Engine 21. Engine 21 was Chicago’s first organized paid African American Firefighting Company. The writer provides information and insight on changes from Slavery to Freedom in the African American Community and the political impact that affected change for African American Firefighters, during this period of reconstruction in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781495178306
Publisher: Black Heroes of Fire Publishing Company
Publication date: 12/03/2018
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 592,646
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)

About the Author

Retired Battalion Chief Dekalb E. Walcott Jr. served 31 years as a Chicago firefighter starting his career in November 1978 as a 30-day wonder and hired during affirmative action. Chicago Fire Department was short of personnel, as a result Fire Academy training only lasted 30 days.

Throughout his career Dekalb served as Firefighter to Battalion Chief along with serving in fire prevention and public education. He has received numerous awards for community service, served as Chairman for Black Firefighters day and was responsible for helping Chicago establish a smoke detector and carbon monoxide ordinance in the mid 1980's. Dekalb sponsored a 100-photo pictorial display during Black History month in February of 1984 honoring Chicago's unsung Black Heroes of Fire, which started his career as Chicago's Black Firefighter historian.

Dekalb has served on the executive board of the African American Firefighters and Paramedic League of Chicago as historian, corresponding secretary, sergeant at arms, vice president and President. Today he spends his time researching black firefighter history and publishing its work. He is married to his wife of 34 years and has two sons: Dekalb is a 10-year firefighter and Matthew is a student with law school aspirations.

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